Kevin Boyer was off work Saturday but at the Columbia Post Office nonetheless.
Had he been scheduled to work, the longtime letter carrier says he would have requested off—so that he could work the annual Stamp Out Hunger food and fund drive at the Post Office, instead.
“I love it,” said Boyer, who has been part of the nation’s largest one-day food drive since the National Association of Letter Carriers started it 26 years ago.
Food and monetary donation totals are still being calculated, but it’s safe to say this year’s drive was a success. Volunteers across The Food Bank’s 32-county service area—and across the country—collected donations alongside postal workers, while volunteers back at the Post Office sorted the goods. By the end of the day, backs were sore and feet were tired but hearts were full.
“I love seeing the community come together to do something for others for one day,” Boyer said, scanning the large boxes overflowing with food. “It’s a labor of love.”
Lindell Lee, another longtime postal worker and local Stamp Out Hunger organizer, also spent Saturday at the drive, even though it was officially his first day of vacation. He, too, has been helping out at the event since its inception. Like past years, he brought his family along to help, too.
“My daughter has been doing this since she was 2,” he said.
Canned beans, canned fruits and vegetables and boxed goods were popular donations on Saturday, as were monetary donations. Because of its tremendous purchasing power, for every $10 gift, The Food Bank is able to acquire and distribute $210 worth of groceries.
“I tell people if you want to go out and buy six cans of green beans, that’s fine—we’ll take it,” Boyer said. “But The Food Bank can do so much more with money.”
Although the one-day drive is over, it is not too late to be a part of the total collected, as financial gifts will continue to come in over the next few weeks. Click below to direct your gift to Stamp Out Hunger.